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“Call Of Duty”: we tested the new battle royale mode which wants to compete with Fortnite

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There is a good chance that your teenager will beg you in the hours and days that come to be able to touch, even for a little half an hour, the joysticks of his video game console. The warlike simulation “Call Of Duty” is indeed coming out this Tuesday, all over the world, with the “battle royale” mode of its last episode “Modern Warfare”, sold more than 600,000 copies since its release in November and second game the most sold in France in 2019 behind “Fifa”.

Called “warzone”, this new game mode that we were able to discover exclusively and in preview, already promises to be a popular success. First because it is… free! All you need is a home console (Xbox One or PlayStation 4) or a PC and download it from 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Each part works like any “battle royale”, a mode popularized by Fortnite, which consists in parachuting players on a virtual combat zone, letting them equip themselves and… killing each other virtually until the last. A violence which, by the way, will make some parents hesitate, and is worth the saga to be discouraged at least 18 years.

A gigantic virtual world

The American studio Infinity Ward and the game publisher Activision hope to eclipse the competition by the characteristics of the title. Starting with the gigantic size of the map on which the players are playing, “the largest ever imagined and designed in the history of Call Of Duty,” says Patrick Kelly, artistic director of the studio. Made up of several dozen different spaces (an airport, a stadium, a train station, a military camp, etc.), it also offers thousands of buildings as hiding places, observation or shooting posts.

Being parachuted, like the 150 players who can be reunited for a game (again a record!), Is an amazing experience as the graphics are realistic. “Warzone” also adds other elements to spice up the adventure. Unlike the majority of other royal battles, it is possible to be resuscitated to continue the fight … even after being fatally hit. The strategy of mutual aid between teammates (with three fighters per team) takes all its interest.

Totally free? Not really

By collecting virtual money to discover in different hiding places scattered all over the map but also by stealing it from the remains of an opposing player who has just been eliminated, a team member can “buy back” the life of one of his allies died in action. This little script tip puts a bit of extra strategy into the game.

While it is possible to play entirely for free, it is actually an incentive to buy the classic game. In addition, aficionados, often sensitive to their online image, can acquire, against a handful of euros, uniforms with more shimmering colors or personalized weapons. Like “Fortnite” which generated no less than 1.8 billion dollars last year (1.57 billion euros), the designers of “Warzone” also expect a lot of money.

Activision

“The largest battlefield ever created”

With more than fifty titles to his credit in twenty years of career, Patrick Kelly is a veteran of the video game world. Today at the head of the creation and development studio Infinity Ward and creative director of “Call Of Duty Modern Warfare”, he exclusively discusses the details of Warzone, new opus of the saga, which comes out on Tuesday.

What are the main features of this new game mode?

PATRICK KELLY. It’s an entirely new way to play “Call Of Duty”, with a huge “open world” card hosting 150 players at the same time, which is more than any battle royale available today. (Editor’s note: 100 in “Fortnite”, 60 in “Apex Legends”). A gauge that we can even push to 200 in the coming weeks. Players are used to playing in large spaces in royal battles like Fortnite or PUBG. This time, we are moving into a whole new dimension. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that it is the biggest play space and the biggest battlefield ever created for the “Call Of Duty” franchise.

What differentiates “Warzone” from other games like “Fortnite”, “PUBG” but also and above all “Black Out”, the battle royale mode from the previous installment of “Call Of Duty, Black Ops 4”?

Unlike the others, it is possible to reappear in “Warzone”, even if you have been eliminated by another player. This involves a system of money to be collected which makes it possible to redeem his life or that of his teammates. When you die, you lose half of your jackpot harvested during the game. Which, I assure you, generates quite astonishing reactions in some players and proves that human nature is fascinating. The desire for revenge is sometimes very strong. We want at all costs to eliminate the player who pulled us out of the game. This creates a very special dynamic in “Warzone”.

Why did you choose free?

The idea is the same as in the more classic modes of “Call Of Duty Modern Warfare” in which it is possible to evolve without having to buy additional content to facilitate its progression in the game. It is always possible to buy “cosmetic” accessories but which have no influence on the course of the game. Players really appreciate not having to acquire anything other than the game to fully enjoy it. With “Warzone”, it’s even better since the download of the game itself is also free.

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